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IN MEMORIAM: Angela Orlowski, 89;

Locally, Daughter, Grandsons Survive

Angela “Lil” Orlowski

COOPERSTOWN – Angela “Lil” Orlowski, a recent resident of Cooperstown, passed away peacefully on Nov. 27, 2020, at a daughter’s home in Mesa, Ariz. Two months earlier, a diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer shocked all who knew this vibrant woman. She was shy of 90.

Survivors include her daughter, Phyllis Orlowski of Cooperstown, and her sons.

Lil was born Angela Luiso in Pelham Bay, The Bronx, on Feb. 18, 1931. Her parents, Phillip and Angela, had arrived from Italy only three months earlier after learning of Mussolini’s plans to invade Ethiopia.

Lilly married Eugene S. Orlowski “Gene” on Oct. 15, 1955. Her new husband shortened her name to “Lil.” In 1968, Lil and Gene raised their four daughters in Newtown, Conn. It would be Lil’s home for the next 51 years.

A master quilter, Lil taught quilting in Newtown and Southbury, Conn., for 34 years. She was also employed by Chintz & Prints in Newtown for 33 years. In 1988, when Lil and Gene welcomed their first grandchild, Max Philip, Lil happily stitched together baby quilts for him and the two grandsons and two granddaughters that followed.

Lil and Gene both enjoyed good health and vitality well into their senior years. They loved international travel and explored various countries in South America, Asia and Europe.

On June 30, 2017, after 61 years of marriage, Gene unexpectedly passed away. Two years later, after downsizing – and parting with her treasure trove of fabrics – Lil sold her longtime Newtown home and moved to Cooperstown, to live closer to family.

Eager for a fresh start, Lil dove into life in Cooperstown. She joined a nascent Cooperstown Senior Center that sparked a talent for painting. She also joined the Leatherstocking Quilters Guild, became a volunteer usher at the Glimmerglass Opera, and made new friends with the Red Hat Ladies, and the Lunch Bunch. When COVID put a halt to her activities, she enjoyed walks and exploring surrounding communities with her daughter, Phyllis.

Lil will be remembered for her winning big smile, warm personable heart, lively personality, boundless creativity, and phenomenal cooking. No one was a stranger in her company. An avid reader, Lil frequented the library often. She was intuitive and could read people and find out their life story within moments of meeting them. Above all, she valued family, friends, good health, good food, and good company. She loved all of you! She will be greatly missed.

Lil is survived by her sister, Marcella Luiso Flanagan; brother, Nicholas Andrew Luiso (and Margaret); her four daughters, Caroline Orlowski, Eugenia “Gigi” Orlowski (and Bruce Grouse), Phyllis Orlowski of Cooperstown (and Tom Smullens) and Andria Orlowski, NMD; five grandchildren, Max Gialanella, Julian (and Campbell) Gialanella, Desi Gialanella, Kiya and Kassandra Moscoso; as well as nieces, Amy Stalder (and Joe), Amanda Luiso (and Matt Britton) and Melissa Brownfield. Barbara Gierke, and Jimmy Kozma of Chicago, and Dr. Dominick Masiello (and Yasmine Hussein), and Michelle Masiello; and 39 cousins.

A Memorial Mass/Celebration of Life will be at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, Conn., at 11 a.m. June 26, 2021, and also at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Church in Cooperstown at 11 a.m. June 30, 2021, followed by interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Cooperstown.

To honor her Italian heritage and love of opera, donations may be made to Glimmerglass Opera, Development Department, P.O. Box 191, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

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1 Comment

  1. I only met Mrs Orlowski briefly in 1986, but for many years before and after we spoke regularly on the phone and recently we were Facebook friends.
    She was always warm, welcoming and interested. She was a wonderful lady who raised a phenomenal family of dynamic, creative, imaginative, wonderful, talented daughters – the one I know best has all of those qualities in spades!
    You will be sadly missed, but your legacy lives on in your blossoming family and all our hearts.

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